Jan. 15: Availability of bridge loans; pronouncing “Realtor”; the government’s changing policy on cash transactions

Rob Chrisman

Rob Chrisman began his career in mortgage banking – primarily capital markets – 31 years ago in 1985 with First California Mortgage, assisting in Secondary Marketing until 1988, when he joined Tuttle & Co., a leading mortgage pipeline risk management firm. He was an account manager and partner at Tuttle & Co. until 1996, when he moved to Scotland with his family for 9 months. See more

I received this note from an MLO. “Rob, do you know of any national lenders doing bridge loans?” A pure institutional bridge loan is a hard if not impossible thing to find. So let me tell you about the work around, before the house that the borrowers are selling is listed in MLS, they should get an equity line (usually free). When they sell that house there will usually be an early closure fee ($300 -500) – a very cheap price to pay for a bridge loan. This works well provided there is enough time to get the equity line in place, if not, there are always private lenders that would do a bridge loan, at the right price and with lots of collateral.


Some markets see more all cash buyers than others. The Treasury Department knows that, and also knows that some portion of the cash for some of the deals comes from illegally gained sources. And thus we find new government regulations that will force all-cash buyers in Miami and Manhattan to disclose their identities to the U.S. government. The Treasury Department’s new rules require certain title companies (namely First American, Fidelity National, Stewart and Old Republic, known as the ‘Big Four’ underwriters) to disclose to the government the names of buyers who pay all cash for properties over $1 million in Miami and over $3 million in Manhattan. Buyer names must be disclosed if their ownership of a property is at least 25%, according to the rules. The temporary regulations go into effect March 1 and end August 27.


But those doing the stashing are pretty clever, and critics say that illegitimate money may be diverted to markets outside the requirements, such as Los Angeles–at least for now. The regulations are widely viewed as simply the first step as Treasury attempts to crack down on criminals stashing illegally-gained cash in American real estate. “If they get the information they’re looking for then the order succeeded and they’ll continue and expand,” said Marc Landis, managing partner and chair of the real estate practice at Manhattan’s Phillips Nizer LLP. “If they don’t get what they’re looking for, they’re going to expand.”


Speaking of local markets, according to reports, in Portland, Oregon, the average time it took to sell a home dropped quickly in 2015, down 23 percent from the previous year. The 33,253 homes sold in Portland in 2015 took an average of only 54 days to close, down from 70 days in 2014. Minimal central-city inventory, and continued influx of young professionals, accounted for the increased the sales cycle.


How do you pronounce Realtor?


I recently stumbled upon a question I find interesting: “What is the correct pronunciation of Realtor?” I must admit, I had no idea how many “thoughts and suggestions” there would be surrounding this question. If you type in “Realtor” as the search word on the Merriam Webster website, you receive: Realtor \ˈrē(-ə)l-tər, -ˌtȯr, ÷ˈrē-lə-tər also rē-ˈal-tər.  Not exactly a clarifier for me but Merriam also listed words that rhyme with Realtor for additional help. The first five were abhor, adore, afore, and/or, and as for.


Is it pronounced real-y-tar or is it real-a-tar? Well, RealtyTimes website posted an article titled “Are You A Realtor Or A Real-a-tor? Some common pronunciations are as follows:

“The first thing you must do is join our Real-i-ty Board.”

“I am with the best Real-i-tor in the area.”

“My Real-a-ter is always available to answer my questions.”

“Let me check with my Real-i-tar.”

The “Are You a Realtor” article also includes some pretty funny comments and suggestions.


The next Blog example is appropriately named: Going Hostile. According to this blogger, ask three different people how to pronounce the word “realtor and chances are you’ll get three different answers:

  1. Reel-a-ter: this one is definitely wrong as there is an extra syllable in the middle
  2. Reel-tor: this one is right sometimes
  3. Reel-ter: this is the correct pronunciation


If you would like to learn the history of the word or the linguistic rules at play, you should read

 ’Glad to be a Real-a-tor ‘on the RealtorMag website.


Truly, so many options to choose from. For me, I’ll take the safe bet and say Real Estate Agent.


A key part of being an agent is negotiation. Realtors are not strangers to continuing education as well as real estate classes. The process of walking a homebuyer or seller through the steps are complicated to say the least but what if all your training didn’t prepare you for every scenario? Unfamiliar situations arise such as ambiguous details and complicated sales contracts, low offers, exclusions, and as-is. If you need some tips, check out the article on 5 things you didn’t learn in real estate class.


Another critical component to being a good agent is marketing. According to Skyword Marketing, forward-thinkers are shifting their teams focus away from product-centric initiatives to audience driven storytelling. Interesting concept? Download a Study in Brand Transformation on its interactive website: Skyward Enterprise Marketing.


Speaking of stories…

Bert took his Saint Bernard to the vet. “Doctor,” he said sadly, “I’m afraid I’m going to have to ask you to cut off my dog’s tail.”

The vet stepped back, “Bert, why should I do such a terrible thing?”

“Because my mother-in-law’s arriving tomorrow, and I don’t want anything to make her think she’s welcome.”




(Copyright 2016 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)